BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s economy grew 2.7 per cent in the first quarter thanks to a steady tourism recovery and strong consumer confidence that offset sluggish exports, officials said yesterday.
The reading came a day after the country went to the polls and declared little faith in the economic management of incumbent Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, rejecting almost a decade of military-backed rule.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy has suffered a patchy pandemic recovery but the National Economic and Social Development Council expects the Thai economy to grow between 2.7 and 3.7 per cent this year.
The January-March expansion marked a pick-up from 1.4 per cent in the previous quarter, the council said.
“Our domestic economy does not have any major problems. Consumption and the tourism sector continue growing,” Council secretary Danucha Pichayanan told reporters.
Border restrictions during the pandemic battered the kingdom’s key tourism industry, which previously accounted for around a fifth of national income.